Fatal accident compensation after driver given ‘not proven’ verdict
Even in fatal road traffic accidents where the sheriff or jury has returned a not-proven verdict and the accused is acquitted, it can still be possible to claim compensation for loved ones.
Evelyn Watson lost her son Sandy in a fatal motorcycle accident in Scotland after a van driver failed to spot him overtaking the van and pulled out to overtake the vehicle in front.
Fatal motorcycle accident
On the day of the accident, Sandy left his car at home for his father in law to use and drove his bike to work. Sandy was an experienced rider and had been riding bikes since he was old enough to get a license.
On this particular day, he was overtaking the van in front of him when the van driver decided to take over the vehicle in front of them, killing Sandy instantly.
“My granddaughter told me what happened, and I broke down. Sandy and I were very close, we spoke every week and he came to visit from Orkney as much as he could.
“He used to travel with work but wouldn’t go away unless he knew I was okay. I told him he had to go, it was work, but he said I came first.”
Van driver given a not-proven verdict
The van driver was charged with death by careless driving but was found not-proven. It is similar to a not-guilty verdict, as it is an acquittal.
Still able to pursue compensation with a not-proven verdict
“When we got the non-proven verdict we thought that was it. I didn’t realise you could claim compensation but after another family member had got in touch with Digby Brown they had to notify all the family as the claim was pursued in court.”
Compensation for fatal motorcycle accident
Digby Brown’s solicitors in Edinburgh fought for compensation for the fatal motorcycle accident for Evelyn. In the end, Evelyn was awarded rightful compensation for the tragic loss of her son Sandy.
“I miss him. He was 52 years old when he died and been riding a bike most of his days – he loved his bike.
“The process of pursuing compensation was very quick and the service we received was brilliant. Digby Brown were very good at what they did and couldn’t have been any nicer or more helpful.
“Since the accident happened 2 years ago, I’ve not been keeping well but hopefully with the New Year it can be a new start.”
Message for drivers: Watch out for bikes
“I have a bumper sticker which says "Think Bike” to encourage other drivers to pay attention for bikers. The van driver clearly wasn’t paying attention at the time and I would encourage everyone to be aware of bikers on the road.”